Herefordshire Council passes budget with compromises on school transport charges and the arts

Hereford Times: The council compromised on school transport charges. The council compromised on school transport charges.

Herefordshire Council has just passed its 2014/15 budget having compromised on school transport charges and cuts to arts commissioning.

Councillors unanimously agreed that schools and art organisations can adjust to any new charging or funding arrangements for next year.

Councillors Sebastian Bowen and John Stone proposed an amendment to re-instate free home to school transport - and for post-16s with Special Educational Needs - for a 12-month period from September.


This, the council heard, allowed for the creation of a £112,000 “transition fund” to enable schools to develop responses to the changes that will see pupils receive free transport to their nearest school only in September 2015.

Currently, pupils also receive funding to travel to their catchment school - even though this may not be the nearest to their home address.

Also approved is an amendment to re-instate arts commission grants for 2014/15 enabling organisations to plan for adjustments to their funding.

However, councillors rejected an amendment to delay development of Hereford's link road so £100k could be set aside for voluntary sector.

One of the issues in backing the budget was the £40 million it will cost the council over the next three years to fund the £165 million energy-from-waste incinerator plant in Hartlebury, near Stourport.

The plan’s strategy estimates council borrowing to increase by £50.8 million over 2014/15, pushing the overall debt up to £218.2 million.

That includes £11 million borrowed over the year for the incinerator.

A total of  27 councillors voted in favour of the budget, with 19 against and five abstentions.

As a result of it being passed, council tax will now rise by 1.9% to £1,251.32 a year for a Band D household for 2014/15.

 

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4:30pm Sat 8 Feb 14

jnorris235 says...

If only the meeting had started on time. If only the 5 minute break didn't stretch to 15. If only each point hadn't been answered at length by the cabinet. Then we might have been able to have the right to free speech rather than have the debate cut short at 1pm by Cons eager to get to their lunches. No chance to properly debate the burning issue! Nor the millions going into the new road when we can't even maintain the ones we've got. They deliberately stopped debate short. Shame on you for your outrageous disregard for the opinions of others. No excuse for that at all. And no mention of it in this report.
Funny the cons accepted the amendments so easily, means that within this so called well-crafted budget the money was there all the time.
5 abstentions is pretty bad, 7 councillors not even turning up is even worse.
Thank you IOC since both amendments were ours and we gave one to the indies. No mention of that in this report either.
If only the meeting had started on time. If only the 5 minute break didn't stretch to 15. If only each point hadn't been answered at length by the cabinet. Then we might have been able to have the right to free speech rather than have the debate cut short at 1pm by Cons eager to get to their lunches. No chance to properly debate the burning issue! Nor the millions going into the new road when we can't even maintain the ones we've got. They deliberately stopped debate short. Shame on you for your outrageous disregard for the opinions of others. No excuse for that at all. And no mention of it in this report. Funny the cons accepted the amendments so easily, means that within this so called well-crafted budget the money was there all the time. 5 abstentions is pretty bad, 7 councillors not even turning up is even worse. Thank you IOC since both amendments were ours and we gave one to the indies. No mention of that in this report either. jnorris235

10:32pm Sat 8 Feb 14

JollyJesterTwo says...

jnorris235 wrote:
If only the meeting had started on time. If only the 5 minute break didn't stretch to 15. If only each point hadn't been answered at length by the cabinet. Then we might have been able to have the right to free speech rather than have the debate cut short at 1pm by Cons eager to get to their lunches. No chance to properly debate the burning issue! Nor the millions going into the new road when we can't even maintain the ones we've got. They deliberately stopped debate short. Shame on you for your outrageous disregard for the opinions of others. No excuse for that at all. And no mention of it in this report.
Funny the cons accepted the amendments so easily, means that within this so called well-crafted budget the money was there all the time.
5 abstentions is pretty bad, 7 councillors not even turning up is even worse.
Thank you IOC since both amendments were ours and we gave one to the indies. No mention of that in this report either.
Probably the most important meeting of the year and 7 fail to show while 5 cowards failed to vote. Appalling. We need to vote out all 12 for dereliction of duty, regardless of political persuasion with the exception of the absentees if their absence was unavoidable through serious illness or some other crisis.
[quote][p][bold]jnorris235[/bold] wrote: If only the meeting had started on time. If only the 5 minute break didn't stretch to 15. If only each point hadn't been answered at length by the cabinet. Then we might have been able to have the right to free speech rather than have the debate cut short at 1pm by Cons eager to get to their lunches. No chance to properly debate the burning issue! Nor the millions going into the new road when we can't even maintain the ones we've got. They deliberately stopped debate short. Shame on you for your outrageous disregard for the opinions of others. No excuse for that at all. And no mention of it in this report. Funny the cons accepted the amendments so easily, means that within this so called well-crafted budget the money was there all the time. 5 abstentions is pretty bad, 7 councillors not even turning up is even worse. Thank you IOC since both amendments were ours and we gave one to the indies. No mention of that in this report either.[/p][/quote]Probably the most important meeting of the year and 7 fail to show while 5 cowards failed to vote. Appalling. We need to vote out all 12 for dereliction of duty, regardless of political persuasion with the exception of the absentees if their absence was unavoidable through serious illness or some other crisis. JollyJesterTwo

9:25am Sun 9 Feb 14

Mr.Herefordian says...

Several Councillors have serious health issues as you should know.
Several Councillors have serious health issues as you should know. Mr.Herefordian

10:46am Sun 9 Feb 14

Councillor Patricia Morgan says...

I suspect there is a reason why the Hereford Times did not report along the lines suggested by jnorris235. Readers ought to be aware that fair play in all debates is overseen by the independent monitoring officer. To suggest that the democratic process was compromised because the meeting finished on time is far fetched at the very least.

The Council budget is hugely important and has been debated and discussed many times - a whole member seminar before Christmas, in public at Overview and Scrutiny in early January, at Cabinet in late January and finally for 3 hours last Friday. It seems to me that there have been many opportunities to discuss the burning issues.

The Conservatives were able to support two sensible amendments because the latest budget out-turn indicates that the Council is on target to deliver the 13/14 budget as set. This is due to competent management of the existing budget and is surely a good thing for the people of Herefordshire.
.
I suspect there is a reason why the Hereford Times did not report along the lines suggested by jnorris235. Readers ought to be aware that fair play in all debates is overseen by the independent monitoring officer. To suggest that the democratic process was compromised because the meeting finished on time is far fetched at the very least. The Council budget is hugely important and has been debated and discussed many times - a whole member seminar before Christmas, in public at Overview and Scrutiny in early January, at Cabinet in late January and finally for 3 hours last Friday. It seems to me that there have been many opportunities to discuss the burning issues. The Conservatives were able to support two sensible amendments because the latest budget out-turn indicates that the Council is on target to deliver the 13/14 budget as set. This is due to competent management of the existing budget and is surely a good thing for the people of Herefordshire. . Councillor Patricia Morgan

2:11pm Sun 9 Feb 14

silashayes says...

For anyone who has ever been to one of these meetings you will know these meetings are not an opportunity to debate. As Cllr Johnson openly stated in a public meeting to one of the Councillors trying to speak.. 'You speak because I allow you to speak'!

Democracy? I think not ..

And every time Cllr Morgan opens her mouth you find yourself wondering what planet she's from lol
For anyone who has ever been to one of these meetings you will know these meetings are not an opportunity to debate. As Cllr Johnson openly stated in a public meeting to one of the Councillors trying to speak.. 'You speak because I allow you to speak'! Democracy? I think not .. And every time Cllr Morgan opens her mouth you find yourself wondering what planet she's from lol silashayes

8:25am Tue 11 Feb 14

drjazz says...

Mr.Herefordian wrote:
Several Councillors have serious health issues as you should know.
They should resign in that case.
[quote][p][bold]Mr.Herefordian[/bold] wrote: Several Councillors have serious health issues as you should know.[/p][/quote]They should resign in that case. drjazz

2:29pm Tue 11 Feb 14

dippyhippy says...

I see that Trish has decided to make another contribution.
Wonderful.

Just one thing Trish, could you please refrain from using the words "sensible" "fair play", and "competent."

I just can't take the irony of these words being contained in your posts.........!!!
I see that Trish has decided to make another contribution. Wonderful. Just one thing Trish, could you please refrain from using the words "sensible" "fair play", and "competent." I just can't take the irony of these words being contained in your posts.........!!! dippyhippy

1:06am Wed 12 Feb 14

bobby47 says...

Of course, I know why Pat's posting here. It's me.This is the bloody problem when women find you irrisistable and can't keep their hands off you.
Only last week, I was laid in bed being fed peeled grapes by a coven of buxom strumpets from the Hoarwithy Dogging Assocuation, when all of a sudden, I heard a tap, tap, tap on the window. I thought, 'funny. Tap, tap, tap on the window. Strange, when I live on the forth floor'.
Anyway, I opened the curtains and who was it I found clinging to my window sill? It was only Councillor Pat Morgan. I said, 'bloody hell Morgan we're eating grapes in here. Clear off'.
'Let me in', she squealed, 'lets discuss the budget. Johnson can't add up'. I said, 'right! For the last time, clear off or I'll tell the Admag and you'll lose your paper round'.
Bloody politicuans! They think they can scurry up your drainpipe and bother people in their own homes. Well from hereon, if she comes round here, other than to deliver my Admag and collect my charity bag containing old clothes donated to the research of testicular cancer and eczema, she'll quickly discover I'll have contacted the Constable demanding my fair share of some habeas corpus.
Anyway, after I prized her knuckles off of my PVC window and she began her rapid descent downwards and onto my bloody herbaceous borders, with a menacing tone, she shrieked, 'Graham Powells going to kick your bloody head in'.
There, I've said what's on me mind and this is why i will allways maintain that elected Ciuncillors should be barred from delivering the Admag or any other posted documents whilst in an elected office of public service.
Of course, I know why Pat's posting here. It's me.This is the bloody problem when women find you irrisistable and can't keep their hands off you. Only last week, I was laid in bed being fed peeled grapes by a coven of buxom strumpets from the Hoarwithy Dogging Assocuation, when all of a sudden, I heard a tap, tap, tap on the window. I thought, 'funny. Tap, tap, tap on the window. Strange, when I live on the forth floor'. Anyway, I opened the curtains and who was it I found clinging to my window sill? It was only Councillor Pat Morgan. I said, 'bloody hell Morgan we're eating grapes in here. Clear off'. 'Let me in', she squealed, 'lets discuss the budget. Johnson can't add up'. I said, 'right! For the last time, clear off or I'll tell the Admag and you'll lose your paper round'. Bloody politicuans! They think they can scurry up your drainpipe and bother people in their own homes. Well from hereon, if she comes round here, other than to deliver my Admag and collect my charity bag containing old clothes donated to the research of testicular cancer and eczema, she'll quickly discover I'll have contacted the Constable demanding my fair share of some habeas corpus. Anyway, after I prized her knuckles off of my PVC window and she began her rapid descent downwards and onto my bloody herbaceous borders, with a menacing tone, she shrieked, 'Graham Powells going to kick your bloody head in'. There, I've said what's on me mind and this is why i will allways maintain that elected Ciuncillors should be barred from delivering the Admag or any other posted documents whilst in an elected office of public service. bobby47

9:45am Wed 12 Feb 14

dippyhippy says...

Quite right too Bobby!

Good Grief! If she's prepared to climb up your drainpipe in this weather, there could be no stopping her!

Standards have been slipping around here lately, it's good to hear that fine, upstanding members of the community such as yourself, still have the gumption to stand up and say it as it is!!
Quite right too Bobby! Good Grief! If she's prepared to climb up your drainpipe in this weather, there could be no stopping her! Standards have been slipping around here lately, it's good to hear that fine, upstanding members of the community such as yourself, still have the gumption to stand up and say it as it is!! dippyhippy

12:54pm Wed 12 Feb 14

bobby47 says...

Hello Dippy. Good to read you old friend.
Hello Dippy. Good to read you old friend. bobby47

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